All posts by Kimberly Brisky

City Council Committee Passes Lightfoot Ethics Package

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The SBAC is a strong proponent of enacting good governance and ethics reforms which will increase the confidence the small business community has in Chicago’s government.

Yesterday, the Chicago City Council Committee on Ethics and Government oversight passed an ethics reform ordinance sponsored by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Lightfoot rejected criticisms that this ordinance didn’t go far enough and that it is important to “bring people along on the journey” and that she favors “doing things incrementally with an eye towards the end-game.” O2019-5305 is scheduled to be considered by the full City Council next week. You can read the full text of the proposed ordinance here.

Specifically, this reform package outlines that:

  • Aldermen and city employees would be prohibited from representing private clients in cases “that could affect the relative tax burden” on city residents.
  • The maximum fine for “high-level” ethics violations would increase to $5,000. The $500 limit for “low-level” violations would double to $1,000.
  • Inspector Joe Ferguson would be empowered to enforce his own subpoenas, granted full auditing and investigatory oversight over the City Council and authorized to launch his investigations five years after an offense occurs, instead of just two years after an alleged violation.
  • And while the definition of lobbyists would be broadened to include nonprofits, registration fees would be waived and the effective date would be pushed back until January 1, and only those “paid or otherwise compensated” would be required to register.


Right Way Signs featured on IJ-Clinic’s Postcast – How’s Business?

By: 1242

Our friends at the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship recently launched a podcast highlighting interviews with Chicago small business owners. The conversation focuses on the challenges and opportunities that are unique to our city.

This week, SBAC Premier Advocate, Alex Perry, with Right Way Signs, was featured on the ‘How’s Business?’ podcast. He provided a great snapshot of Right Way’s journey and made the pitch for all small businesses to get involved in advocacy and build the critical mass to make critical changes. You can listen to the full conversation below and check out the rest of the interviews here:

SBAC Lawyers Community Presents CLE Course on Restrictive Covenants

By: 1242

SBAC Member Amit Bindra will be speaking on “Restrictive Covenants: Legal Trends, & Negotiation and Drafting Tips” in July’s CLE course.

Register today to reserve your spot and earn 1 hour of general CLE credit. 

July 23rd, 2019 // 11:30-1pm
20 S. Clark Street
4th Floor Conference Room
Chicago, IL 60602

Amit Bindra is a partner at the Prinz Law Firm, P.C. Mr. Bindra’s practice areas include restrictive covenant litigation and agreements, whistleblower matters, employment arbitration clauses, unpaid wages for executive employees, wage and hour lawsuits, employment discrimination, and appellate law. He has worked on matters in Illinois and across the U.S.

Since 2016, the Super Lawyers Magazine has recognized Mr. Bindra as an Illinois Rising Star, which is awarded to less than 2.5% of attorneys. He has several publications in law journals, legal newsletters, and for the Prinz Law Firm’s blog. Mr. Bindra has presented on legal topics to attorneys seeking to receive CLE credits, appeared on podcasts, and has presented to executives to develop their negotiation skills. He also teaches an advanced legal writing class at Loyola University Chicago School Law focused on appellate legal writing.

Mr. Bindra graduated from DePaul University College of Law, where he received a certificate in business law and served as an executive editor for the DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal. Mr. Bindra received his undergraduate degree from the James Madison College at Michigan State University, and he was also a competitive debater for the nationally ranked debate team.

Currently, Mr. Bindra serves on non-profit boards, is an investigator for the CBA’s Judicial Evaluation Committee, is an editor for the ABA Appellate Practice Journal, and is an avid long distance runner.

SBAC President Featured on The Matt Laricy Group Podcast

By: 1242

SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, was interviewed for the Matt Laricy Group Podcast.  Matt Laricy is the managing broker of the Matt Laricy Group, a top boutique real estate firm in Chicago that focuses on providing outstanding customer service. The group also focuses on expanding its marketing footprint and effectiveness through their podcast. As a small business owner, Matt invited Elliot on to discuss the issues impacting his company and to learn about how the SBAC is making a difference and empowering the small business community. You can view the full conversation below:

SBAC Featured in Crain’s Chicago on the Lightfoot Administration

By: 1242

Crain’s Chicago Business is doing a feature series on the first 100 days of the Lightfoot Administration. The coverage includes a variety of topics and advocacy priorities for organizations across the city. SBAC President and Co-Founder, Elliot Richardson, submitted a piece for the series that focuses on cutting red tape by amending the code as it relates to signs.

There is no logical reason public way use permits for signs must be approved by the City Council. This process should be eliminated so that businesses can obtain permits more quickly and seamlessly. Aldermen should focus on the big issues impacting Chicago and not on approving individual sign permits. Eliminating City Council approval for public way use sign permits will also curtail the risk that permits will be withheld for political reasons…

There are many more ways to eliminate the unnecessary red tape that often makes it difficult to own and operate a small business in Chicago.  Mayor Lightfoot has already shown she is willing to challenge the status quo. This time of change in Chicago provides the perfect opportunity to make reforms that will empower the small business community.

To read Elliot’s full article in Crain’s business, click here.

SBAC Hosts First Lawyers’ Community Educational Forum for Business Owners

By: 1242

Last month the SBAC Lawyers’ Community hosted an educational forum for business owners at Cliff Dwellers. The purpose of the event was to offer business owners an opportunity to ask our panel of legal experts the questions they always wanted to ask their attorney, but haven’t!

The SBAC is proud to have many attorneys in our ranks that are so experienced and skilled in their specialized fields. We heard from Denny Esford (Windy City Trial Group), Barbara Yong (Golan Christia Taglia), Aaron Zarkowsky (Howard & Howard), Erich Buck (Adelman & Gettleman) and Arthur Ehrlich (Goldman & Ehlich). Topics covered in this forum included asset protection, insolvency, human resources issues, intellectual property, and entity development.

To read more details about the topics covered, you can view the presentation slides here. If you would like to be connected with one of the presenting attorneys or are in need of legal assistance in a different practice area, please reach out to SBAC’s Membership Coordinator, Remi Purnell at

New website launched for SBAC Empower!

By: 1242

The SBAC is a non-partisan, member driven organization empowering small business through advocacy, networking and educational programs. When it comes to our policy agenda, our focus is on initiatives to level the playing field for small business, promote a functional government and encourage economic development in all communities.

To increase our engagement with new and prospective business owners, the SBAC is proud to announce the latest initiative of its sister organization, SBAC Empower, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. With its dedicated and knowledgeable board and supporters, SBAC Empower’s mission is to be the bridge between the small business community, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in economically challenged neighborhoods in Chicago.

The SBAC and SBAC Empower believe that the foundation of a vibrant neighborhood is a thriving small business community. Small businesses employ local residents, provide critical services, create positive neighborhood activity and disproportionately give back to their respective communities. Helping small businesses start, stay and succeed can be a game changer in a struggling neighborhood.

Spearheading the mission, Empower has partnered with the New Covenant Economic Development Corporation in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood – pairing SBAC members with new entrepreneurs to support and guide them on their journey to becoming a business owner. Graduates from New Covenant’s business classes are either in the process of starting or have already started a business.  Empower Mentors offer the mentees years of lessons learned and experience gained in managing a successful business.

SBAC Empower has also begun development of an online resource center for small businesses. While there are many organizations and government programs that provide support for small businesses, searching for the “how” and “where” is a bit daunting.  This searchable portal is continually expanding and aims to connect business owners with answers and resources they seek in starting a business.

Please visit SBAC Empower’s newly launched website at to read about their mission.  If you would like further information about SBAC Empower, to donate or become a Mentor, please send an email to


Top Issues Women Still Face in the Workplace: What Can WE Do About It

By: 1242

This week Minna Pomeroy, Founder and Principal of Leverage People, spoke at the SBAC Women in Business North Shore Networking Luncheon. Her presentation, “Top Issues Women Still Face in the Workplace: What Can WE Do About It?” was an interactive discussion that left every attendee with some actionable ideas about what can be done differently to change these paradigms in the workplace.

Did you miss out on the conversation? You can read her full presentation here.